Your source for the latest technology information of interest to credit unions across America.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and stay on top of the latest technology trends in Hardware, Software, ATMs, Biometrics, Wireless, Online Banking, Marketing, Security, Internet Access and Call Centers.

Aniversary Logo

January 16, 2023

This Week's News is Sponsored by Better Branches ~



General News


L&N FCU Selects Jack Henry

Jack Henry announced that L&N Federal Credit Union has selected Jack Henry's Symitar platform. The Kentucky-based CU said that the cloud-based, SaaS nature of the Symitar platform will help streamline their ability to integrate FinTech capabilities and offer new solutions.



Wescom CU Offers Green Vehicle Loan Discount

Southern California-based Wescom Credit Union has announced a Green Vehicle Loan discount for the purchase or refinance of a qualifying electric or hybrid vehicle. Anyone who qualifies to open an account with Wescom may apply for an auto loan with Wescom to take advantage of this 0.25% APR loan discount on the purchase or refinance of a qualifying electric or hybrid vehicle, with a minimum loan amount of $10,000.



Mountain America CU Partners with Blend for Home Equity Solution

Mountain America Credit Union, based in Utah, has partnered with Blend, a cloud banking software provider, to provide its Instant Home Equity solution to members. With this solution, the credit union aims to reduce loan application approval times.





Hardware News


Lenovo Unveils Next Generation of Intel-Based Smart Infrastructure Solutions

Lenovo recently unveiled 25 new ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile server and hyperconverged solutions powered by Intel’s 4th Generation Xeon Scalable Processors as part of its recently announced Infrastructure Solutions V3 portfolio. Cooled by fifth generation Lenovo Neptune Direct Water-Cooling technology, Lenovo’s new ThinkSystem SD650 V3 and SD650-I V3 servers extend Neptune efficiency to a new generation of systems.



Intel Launches 4th Gen Xeon Scalable Processors, Max Series CPUs and GPUs

Intel has unveiled the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named Sapphire Rapids), the Intel Xeon CPU Max Series (code-named Sapphire Rapids HBM) and the Intel Data Center GPU Max Series (code-named Ponte Vecchio). When comparing with prior generations, 4th Gen Intel Xeon customers can expect a 2.9x average performance per watt efficiency improvement for targeted workloads when utilizing built-in accelerators, up to 70-watt power savings per CPU in optimized power mode with minimal performance loss, and a 52% to 66% lower TCO.



Why It Might Be Time to Consider Using FIDO-Based Authentication Devices

Access codes sent by SMS or authenticator apps can be bypassed by clever phishing. This article argues that hardware-based tokens make that harder to do. The FIDO (Fast Identity Online) standard includes specs that take advantage of biometric and other hardware-based security measures, either from specialized hardware security gadgets or the biometric features built into most new smartphones and some PCs.



How to Buy PCs for Your Organization

Three PC makers dominate the market globally: Although the top PC vendors’ sales numbers tend to vary from quarter to quarter, Lenovo has maintained the No. 1 spot for years, with roughly 23% of sales, while HP and Dell Technologies essentially tie for second place with roughly 16% to 20% of sales each. This article explores the multiple considerations IT should assess when choosing its PC fleet suppliers: buying direct vs. using resellers, technology factors in PC choices, user considerations and pressures, when and how to consider thin clients and non-Windows devices, financial and purchasing considerations, support factors, environmental considerations, and geographic factors.



Hardware Section Sponsored by
Millennial Vision, Inc. (MVi)


Back to Top

Software Updates


A Complete Review of Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant

The Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant is a basic but highly effective tool for migrating databases in a few simple steps. While it lacks some premium features, Microsoft’s free-to-use assistant should have everything you need for a successful migration. This article takes a deep dive into the details of the tool.



Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Are Necessary to Run a Modern Network

Today’s networks are complex and more difficult for IT to manage due to the distributed nature of data, applications, people and devices. The author argues that this situation is bringing down the efficiency of IT teams and their ability to tackle a long list of tasks. This need is driving the adoption of AIOps. For example, Extreme has a cloud network management platform called ExtremeCloud IQ, which includes IQ Co-Pilot which combines everything admins need on one screen, explains potential network issues and makes recommendations based on the data it verifies.





Back to Top



ATM Outsourcing Remains a Critical Cost-Cutting Solution for Deployers

RBR’s Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2027 study reveals that half of the world’s ATMs had cash replenishment outsourced to third-party providers in 2021. On a regional level, this figure is highest in North America where this service is outsourced for 81% of terminals.



Cash is King in Low-Income Homes

A report from the Federal Reserve finds cash payments have stayed consistent in recent years, but households of modest means are less likely to use other payment methods. Cash accounted for 20% of all payments in 2021 — the most recent data available — up one point from 2020 but down from 26% in 2019. Despite that year-to-year stability, cash payments are down 11 percentage points compared to 2016, when they comprised 31% of all payments.



Back to Top


Wireless World


5G Wireless Connections to Reach 5.9 Billion by the End of 2027

Connections to 5G networks has on average doubled every year since its commercial inception in late 2018, reaching 922 million connections by the end of the third quarter of 2022, according to data from Omdia. North America is a leader in the uptake of wireless 5G connections with a total of 108 million 5G and 506 million LTE connections by the end of Q3 2022. 5G penetration of the population in the North American market is approaching 30%, as the region added 14 million 5G connections for the quarter – a gain of 15.47% over Q2 2022.



Creating Strong Mobile Authentication Security for Members

Today many mobile authentication applications have several problems and lead to vulnerabilities that cause further issues and more cyberattacks. These include secure codes, also known as one-time passwords (OTPs), that are sent by SMS to consumers’ mobile phones. The author highlights various challenges that lie within mobile authentication lifecycle implementation, including: 1. Registration and recognition of the user’s device; 2. Provisioning secure credentials; 3. Ensuring secure communications; 4. Blocking real-time attacks; 5. Streamlining authentication lifecycle management; and 6. Preventing brute force attacks.



Wi-Fi 7 Is Coming: Here’s What You Need to Know

The consumer-facing name for the new generation wireless standard is Wi-Fi 7, but its official name is 802.11be. Wi-Fi 7 builds off the foundation provided by Wi-Fi 6E, which means that 2.4GHz, 5Ghz and 6GHz wireless bands are supported. Wi-Fi 7 is designed to significantly increase transfer speeds, reduce latency and boost overall network capacity for clients. When Will Wi-Fi 7 Devices be Available to Purchase? This question and many more are answered in this article.



Back to Top

Security Section


Digital Identity Takes off as Governments Realize Benefits

Digital identity is a collection of online information about a person, an organization, or a machine, which, when grouped together, can provide a digital representation of that entity. Driven by vaccination certificates, the need for identity checks in financial services, and the potential of the metaverse, governments across the world realize the benefits and the importance of digital identity, enabling the technology to take off, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. They predict a major push by many governments to implement digital identity programs in the years ahead.



Cloudflare Announces Email Security & Data Protection Tools

Cloudflare announced several new Zero Trust email security solutions, compatible with any email provider, to protect employees from multichannel phishing attacks, prevent sensitive data being exfiltrated via email, and help organizations speed up and simplify deployments. Now, Cloudflare is providing organizations with its new phishing and malware protection that is integrated with its Zero Trust platform. For example with Link Isolation, if an employee clicks a link in an email it will automatically be opened using Cloudflare’s Remote Browser Isolation technology. This helps isolate any potentially risky links, downloads, or other zero day attacks from impacting that user’s computer and the wider corporate network.





Back to Top


Technology and Marketing


Marketing Trendwatch: Precision-Targeting Ads with Connected TV

Connected TV (CTV) — also referred to as over-the-top (OTT) — is the overarching label for any TV or device that can be connected to the Internet and access streaming video content beyond what is delivered by a cable provider. As consumers seek alternatives beyond subscription platforms like Netflix and Hulu, many are looking to ad-supported “free” channels such as YouTube, Roku, and Peacock. This article concludes that these platforms are experiencing strong growth and offer financial marketers an opportunity to more precisely target their markets.



How to Compete in Plastics Market? One CU Turns to Metal

A new metal credit card offering enhanced cash-back features has been rolled out by U.S. Eagle FCU. The card, which has a tungsten alloy center and pressed metal foil exterior, and which is physically heavier than a standard card, is called “U.S. Eagle METAL” and offers cash back not only for purchases but also when members pay for those purchases and, for the first 90 days, even balance transfers. The cashback is unlimited, with no special purchase tracking requirements and never expires.



Back to Top

Online Banking/E-Commerce/Website Design


What Is Digital-First Banking?

Digital-first banking refers to a type of banking in which the primary means of interacting with the FI is through digital channels, such as a website or a mobile app. According to the latest “Digital-First Banking Tracker,” a PYMNTS and NCR collaboration, “Consumers have had to adapt to this shift by embracing digital channels. All age groups are making digital-only banks their primary FIs, with younger, more tech-familiar generations the most likely to do so. Complete adoption of digital-only banking services is a long way off, however, with just one in 10 consumers having their primary accounts with digital banks.”



Banks Seek Digital Transformation via Fintech Collaborations

This article states that with the top strategic priority in banking transformation continuing to be to improve the digital banking experience of consumers, there is an increased focus on efficiently opening and onboarding new relationships, deploying data-driven personalized communication, and creating new digital banking products and services. It reports that the top 3 FinTech collaborations are 1) Digital account opening/onboarding; 2) Consumer digital lending; and 3) Targeted marketing solutions and analytics.



Papara Ships Voice Card for the Visually Impaired

Papara, a Turkish FinTech, announced the launch of its Voice Card, which they claim is the world’s first debit card enabling swift and easy transactions and payments for visually impaired users by audio technology. To be used, Papara’s Voice Card must be linked up to the Papara app on a user’s mobile phone. Once it is inserted at a Voice Card POS payment terminal the user will hear the amount due to be paid on their phone.



Back to Top

Internet Access


Things to Know and Do Before You Switch from VPN to ZTNA

VPN remains a popular solution for supporting remote work, but security teams have come to realize that VPNs are complex to scale and often result in poor application performance. Meanwhile, ZTNA (zero-trust network architecture) ensures that users are only given access to what they need, limiting the possibility of an insider threat. This concept of validating identity, context, and risk, and granting “just in time, just enough” access based on frequent evaluation of those metrics is the foundation of zero trust. And enforcing it requires two critical things: 1) Deep understanding of the user and their device and 2) The ability to enforce granular controls on a per user, per session and per app level.



Hughes’ GEO Satellites Can Do SD-WAN, Too

HughesNet works with VMware, Cisco Meraki and Fortinet for their SD-WAN technology. The company concedes that with their GEO satellites that “you have the latency issue because the satellite is so much further from earth” than with LEO. But HughesNet and its partners use compression software “to make the user experience better.”




Back to Top

Call Centers


Why Your Contact Center Might Need a Balanced Scorecard

Despite all the data that contact center managers have at their fingertips, most cannot answer a very basic question: How is my contact center performing? The balanced scorecard resolves this dilemma by combining the most important contact center KPIs into a single, overall measure of contact center performance. The author goes on to cover many aspects of setting up and using a balanced scorecard.



Video in the Contact Center Is Going Mainstream

This article states that video for the contact center can be a significant asset that improves CX, builds loyalty and video chat allows contact center agents to connect with callers and see what they see to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. It lists the top five benefits of video-enabled call centers: 1. Enhanced real-time support; 2. High-touch and personalized CX; 3. Reduced costs; 4. Increased FCR; and 5. Increased revenue.